Website developed by UC Merced helping growers protect crops

Dale Yurong Image
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Website developed by UC Merced helping growers protect crops
The data on the website goes beyond frost and heat advisories.

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The CalAgroClimate website developed at UC Merced is designed to help growers avoid frost or heat damage.

Farmers can pinpoint their growing location.

"We are using Google Maps and so, you can select a particular location or address, count, specific location," said UC Merced professor, Tapan Pathak.

Farmers like Scott Hunter of Hunter Farms say the information could be very helpful.

"We've had these options in the past but you have to go to different sites to get them. All the temperature data. And then if you have properties that are spread out, it's great," explained Hunter.

Pathak says the project was developed alongside USDA climate hubs.

The data goes beyond frost and heat advisories.

It includes a crop phenology tool to help farmers track growth and development.

"Farmers or agricultural clientele can get information about critical growth stages for a given crop. For example, when would the bud break happen, when would the

flowering happen, when would the fruit set happen," Pathak said.

Growers just have to type in crop and variety information to access decades of vital information.

"Now to be able to instantaneously get the historical data, it's a valuable tool for farmers. It's a great, great thing the UC students have put together," Hunter.

CalAgroClimate also offers pest control information to help farmers protect their crops.

They'll be able to see how the heat impacts the life cycle of certain pests.

"You can see when to schedule your pesticide application, field scouting, those kinds of things," Pathak said.

Hunter says he'll definitely make use of the data provided by UC Merced.

"To be able to do that in a targeted way is responsible and it's the future of farming here in California."